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Calgary Flames Game Day 79: One more trip to Disneyland (8pm MT)

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Photo credit:Sergei Belski-USA TODAY Sports
Ryan Pike
1 month ago
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Less than a day after losing in Los Angeles, the Calgary Flames (35-38-5, 75 points) will attempt to close out their road trip in a “not bad” manner (winning two of three) when they visit Orange County to face the Anaheim Ducks (26-48-5, 57 points). The Flames have looked good for stretches lately but were just out-gunned by a good Kings team. Can they bounce back to beat the Ducks?
The broadcast begins at 8 p.m. MT on Sportsnet One and Sportsnet 960 The Fan. The Flames opened as -150 favourites against the Ducks on Betway.

The Flames

Projected lines via Daily Faceoff:
Mangiapane – Backlund – Coronato
Kuzmenko – Kadri – Pospisil
Huberdeau – Zary – Sharangovich
Greer – Rooney – Duehr
Weegar – Miromanov
Solovyov – Andersson
Kylington – Pachal
We’re projecting Dustin Wolf to start in net, backed up by Jacob Markstrom. We wouldn’t expect to see Joel Hanley or Blake Coleman, both out day-to-day. The healthy extras on Thursday in Los Angeles were Nikita Okhotiuk, Dennis Gilbert and Dryden Hunt, so we’ll see if any of them rotate in.
The Flames have never won the second half of a back-to-back set this season, going 0-6-1 in their prior seven attempts. Granted, the travel in SoCal isn’t too bad – Crypto.com Arena to Honda Center is literally 30 miles down the interstate – but the Flames are playing their third game in four nights and, by the end of the season, guys are pretty beaten up to begin with. It’ll be interesting to see how Ryan Huska manages his group, particularly knowing they have some fresh legs potentially available.
A regulation loss against Anaheim would guarantee that the Flames will finish the season with at least the ninth-best draft lottery odds.

The Ducks

Projected lines courtesy Daily Faceoff:
Killorn – Carlsson – Terry
Vatrano – Zegras – Strome
Silfverberg – Lundestrom – Colangelo
Meyers – Groulx – Leason
Fowler – Zellweger
LaCombe – Gudas
Vaakanainen – Lindstrom
We’re projecting Lukas Dostal to start, since he’s been leaned on lately, but the Ducks sent Alex Stalock back to the AHL this morning so likely John Gibson (at least) dresses as backup. The expected extra skaters are Ross Johnston and William Lagesson. Update: John Gibson starts.
The Ducks are, like many teams at the bottom of the standings, playing out the string. But hey, they’re not a bunch of tomato cans: they have some good, fun young players – I’m partial to former WHL Olen Zellweger, who had three assists last week against the Flames. The Ducks are 2-1-1 in April, and are a scrappy young team that’s playing loose. If you don’t have the structure to your game early on, they can get you chasing them around the rink very easily.
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Unavailable players

The Flames are without Dillon Dube, Dan Vladar, Joel Hanley and Blake Coleman.
The Ducks are without Brock McGinn, Max Jones, Pavel Mintyukov and Mason McTavish.

The numbers

FlamesDucks
35Wins26
75 (.481)Points (%)57 (.361)
50.4%
(17th)
xGF%46.1%
(28th)
17.4%
(27th)
PP%17.8%
(24th)
80.9%
(10th)
PK%72.6%
(31st)

Head to head

This is the third and final meeting between these teams in 2023-24. These teams split their first two meetings with one win apiece.

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